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Congress calls for Gujarat bandh today

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TARGETING AAMIR: BJP workers burn a poster of Bollywood star Aamir Khan after his support to the Narmada Bachao Andolan in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
TARGETING AAMIR: BJP workers burn a poster of Bollywood star Aamir Khan after his support to the Narmada Bachao Andolan in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

Special Correspondent

Decision taken to reflect its solidarity with people of the State who want the dam completed Congress MPs would again meet the Prime Minister to convey the State's strong sentiments for no stoppage of the dam construction work.

BJP Yuva Morcha activists attack NBA office in VadodaraCinemas all over State suspend screening Aamir Khan film

AHMEDABAD: Going against the party's central leadership, the State unit of the Congress has given a call for 'Gujarat bandh' on Sunday to press its demand for continuing the construction of the Narmada dam.

The Gujarat Congress spokesman, Hasmukh Patel, said the decision was taken to reflect the party's solidarity with the people of the State who unitedly want the early completion of the dam project.

He said the party representatives had earlier met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress MPs would again meet him on Sunday to convey the State's strong sentiments against stopping the dam construction work.

He said unanimity prevailed among political parties, voluntary organisations, intellectuals, business and trade circles and others on the Narmada issue and it would not be allowed to be disrupted. The Congress in Gujarat had always supported the dam project and would continue to press for its early implementation under all circumstances, he said.

Both the Congress and the Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, have appealed to the people to join symbolic protest but ensure that it was completely peaceful.

The venue of Mr. Modi's symbolic 51-hour fast from 2 p.m. on Sunday, however, has been shifted from Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram to the Gujarat University grounds in Ahmedabad.

According to the State BJP spokesman, Purshottam Rupala, the venue was shifted to avoid traffic congestion near the Ashram and allow more people to join the fast.

Mr. Rupala said most of the members of the Cabinet, State BJP office-bearers and other leaders, representatives of various voluntary organisations and others would join Mr. Modi in the relay token fast.

Meanwhile, waves of protests against the anti-dam forces continued to rock the State with some BJP yuva morcha volunteers attacking the office of the Narmada Bachao Andolan in Vadodara in the evening.

There was no one in the locked office in a flat in Ellora Park locality. The angry BJP youth activists ransacked the office, damaged its furniture and destroyed some of the files and other documents.

Cinema theatre owners all over the State have suspended showing films featuring Aamir Khan and removed his posters after some youth Congress workers attacked a multiplex in Ahmedabad screening his film.

The Congress and the BJP workers had ransacked a cinema hall in Vadodara on Friday in protest against Aamir Khan supporting the NBA.

The Union Minister of State for Petroleum, Dinsha Patel, attended a protest rally in Surat while the Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly, Arjun Modhavadia, said the Congress would go to any extent to ensure that the dam work was not suspended.

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